Quick Thoughts- Iowa Race 2

Dr. Newgarden has reopened his Iowa clinic.  His 214 laps led tonight give him close to 1,000 laps led at Iowa Speedway.  Newgarden is the first driver to win at Iowa from the pole. His third victory at the track ties him with Ryan Hunter-Reay for most wins  here. Newgarden also joins Hunter-Reay as the only back to back winners.

Newer teams and drivers stood out this weekend. Carlin and Conor Daly had a pole and finished eighth Friday. On Saturday, Daly started third and was definitely  a contender until being caught out by the second yellow. His 13th place finish does not reflect the great race he ran tonight.  Sadly, Daly has only one more race scheduled with Carlin this season, August 30 at Gateway.

Arrow McLaren SP ‘s pair had two good races, contending at times both nights. oliver Askew was on the podium Friday, giving the team podiums two races in a row. Pato O’Ward’s disastrous pit stop probably cost him his second top 5 finish of the weekend. We have not heard the last from either of these teams.

Both yellows seemed to take a long time.  I’m surprised there weren’t more.  Both cautions played havoc with several teams pit strategies.

After a series of frustrating races, Graham Rahal finally gets a podium. He has been strong all year, but has had a difficult stretch of getting a good result.

Colton Herta’s repaired car was a handful tonight. I don’t know how he avoided hitting the turn 4 wall early in the race.

Two top 10s for Rossi  couple with his third at Road America should help his and the team’s morale. Like last year the team doesn’t seem to have the overall pace to contend. Rossi needs another strong Indianapolis 500.

If you are surprised that Team Penske suddenly came alive this weekend, don’t be. Some years it takes them a race or two to get going.  Penske usually gets to the top eventually.

Simon Pagenaud improved 41 spots from his starting position over the two races. He didn’t seem to have the pace he had on Friday, yet still managed a 4th place finish. He trails Scott Dixon by 49 points, gaining just 1 point on Dixon tonight.

Doubleheaders are great, but they shouldn’t be overdone in a normal year. As a fan I loved it, but the toll on the drivers and crews has to be heavy. I realize this is not a normal year. I could live with another double header at Iowa.

I’ll be back Monday with a report on how Iowa Speedway handled its COVID plan. Wednesday a story on my visit to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.

Thank you for following along this weekend.